Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2013
Accepted Solution
how to get economy shipping rates for canada post for dvds and books

Hi.  I am a new Canadian seller, using and listing in can dollars. I would  like to start selling dvds and books. I am using buy it now and the buyer must pay shipping. I am still using my first 50 free listings.


I have listed a few dvds in the smallest, non padded envelopes which I cut down to the size of the dvd. These are series with 4 dvds inside but are around 2 cm thick. 


The weight was 250 grams, size 21 cm long, 16 cm wide and 2 cm high. I listed them at first as 9 dollars Canadian and the shipping quote on the item showing on my listing was over 13 dollars for Canada post regular parcel.


I chose Canada post light packet usa for my usa shipping and it doesn't give a quote. I was told there is no shipping calculator available for my international orders and I have to always ask a buyer for state and zip code, go on Canada post website and get a calculation from there for any buyers, then add the cost to buy it now item and invoice the usa buyer. the cost so far for other items was always double the domestic shipping cost which deterred any usa buyers. I haven't yet sold any dvds but I am assuming the shipping cost will again be double for the usa shipping. 


so I lowered my price to 5 dollars can each dvd set. now it doesn't give any quote at all on domestic shipping which means for buy it now I have to get emails from domestic and usa buyers and go to the Canada post website get the quote etc etc. I don't know why it did then when I changed the price I must have screwed something up. 


I am overwhelmed with this shipping. is there any easier way to do this? what am I doing wrong? I have seen other experienced sellers that offer free economy shipping which I think must be in the plain brown envelopes - letter mail - I am using plain non padded brown envelopes but it never gives me the option of using letter mail. the shipping domestic when it would give a quote was always over 13 dollars. at this rate I would have to give away the dvd to pay the shipping cost. 


I would appreciate anyone who could offer any advice on how to get economy Canada post shipping and advice on pricing the dvds I have or how I could price things and offer free shipping. any advice appreciated. thanks very much.


Accepted Solutions: 7
Community Member
Posts: 2,902
Registered: ‎09-29-2005
[ Edited ]
in reply to bentley65

If the package is 500g or under and a maximum of 2cm then you can use oversize lettermail for Canada.


A standard thickness dvd case is 14mm, put in a size 0 bubble envelope and the result should be just under 2cm (I use kraft paper bubble envelopes from Staples for regular dvds).


The cost is flat rate to anywhere in Canada, so calculated shipping is not required.


Canada (oversize rate using stamps):

051-100g .. 1.80
101-200g .. 2.95
201-300g .. 4.10
301-400g .. 4.70
401-500g .. 5.05




Once your package is thicker than 2cm, you need to use calculated shipping for parcels. Pick expedited parcel (cheaper than regular if you buy the shipping via eBay/Shippo; comes with $100 insurance).




For the USA you can use Small Packet (if you want to buy your shipping online), cheapest if you buy the shipping via eBay/Shippo. Flat rate, and you do not need to worry about thickness.


Small Packet ( via Shippo)

001g-250g ...  7.05

251g-500g ...  9.25

501g-1.0kg ... 13.78


Oversize lettermail (stamped rate, not desired by Canada Post) (2cm max)

051-100g .. 2.95
101-200g .. 5.15


Light Packet (2cm max)

001-200g .. 6.84

201-300g .. 8.60


Alternatives: If you are located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal or Halifax there are companies (chitchatsexpress, stallionexpress, runninred, dlk) that will take your package across the border for a small fee and you can pay USA domestic shipping rates (USPS media mail is cheap).



Community Member
Posts: 5,569
Registered: ‎08-29-2005
in reply to bentley65


That should take care of the calculation of price.

Including Light Packet.

But look at the LetterPost rates too.


I have to always ask a buyer for state and zip code, go on Canada post website and get a calculation from there for any buyers, then add the cost to buy it now item and invoice the usa buyer.


LetterPost and Light Packet are Flat Rates to anywhere in the USA.

So you choose the fee for shipping.

Calculated is needed where distance is part of the rate calculation. Parcel rates need calculation. LP doesn't.


A lot of  sellers using LP rates, use the LetterPost one if it is cheaper. Just sayin'.


I haven't yet sold any dvds but I am assuming the shipping cost will again be double for the usa shipping. 


It will be different. But not always more.

NEVER NEVER guess the cost of shipping.


I must have screwed something up. 

Shipping is the hardest part of mail order.

We all mess it up now and then, mostly when we start.


Are you buying your envelopes at the Post Office? Don't.

Get them from an office supply store.

I like using poly envelopes which I buy here on eBay from who ship quickly and have good prices. (Better than the Chinese sellers and faster.) Also they leave feedback on shipping which is  helpful for newbies.



Remember your DVDs are pretty consistent in size and weight. So coming up with a Flat Rate  is just a matter of using your scale (you have a digital metric scale, right? Canadian Tire sells a good Starbrit one for under $20) and taking your time.


BTW- if you need zipcodes 90210 is in California and 32830 is in Florida. And K0A 0A6 is the House of Commons in Ottawa.


There are no online shipping labels for LP services.

You have to use stamps or buy labels at the PO counter.

You can buy stamps at a discount here on eBay (*cough*).


Community Member
Posts: 659
Registered: ‎02-28-2010
in reply to bentley65

I cannot comment about sending dvds in plain envelopes without any cases, since I don't sell dvds.  However, I can comment about choice of shipping methods.


For destinations in Canada, the size and weight you quote can be sent as oversize lettermail for $4.10.  Anything up to 500 g and maximum 38x27x2cm can go oversized lettermail.  Rates  for up to 100g/200g/300g/400g/500g are $1.80/$2.95/$4.10/$4.70/$5.05.


For US, Light Packet with the same size and weight is $8.60.  It has the same weight and size maximums, with rates for up to 200g/300g/500g of $6.84/$8.60/$11.75.


You cannot print online labels for lettermail or Light Packet.  You can buy postage at the Post Office, or apply stamps which you can buy here at a discount.  You are correct that the shipping calculator is not available for these services, but you can simply input the shipping amount when listing.  Remember you are paying eBay 10% on shipping cost.  Cost is the same to any state, US territory or overseas military mail address.  Light Packet requires a CN22 form complete with value, description of contents and HS Code.


No one is going to message you for a shipping cost.  And shipping is the hardest thing to learn about selling on eBay.  Spend some time on the Canada Post website, look at the rates, become familiar with some of the services offered.  When you see "economy shipping" on listings, this is what Canadian sellers listing on must use, since Canada Post options are not available on the US site.  It translates to oversize lettermail.  And the cost for this is either shown separately, or hidden in the price.  There is no such thing as really free shipping.

Community Member
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎04-15-2015
[ Edited ]
in reply to bentley65

You can't set up Lettermail rates through Calculated Shipping, only as Flat Shipping. I'm guessing (based on my previous experience selling similar items) most of your items will likely end up in the $2.95 (+ taxes) range for Oversize Lettermail (depending on weight), so you can either input a similar amount as a shipping cost, or build that cost into your price and offer Free Shipping.


You will also have to either take your packages into the post office or use stamps as you are unable to print labels for Lettermail.


And measure to make absolutely sure you are 20mm or less on the thickness with the item in the bubble envelope. 21+mm pushes you into parcel rates, and some postal outlet workers (though not all) are very strict about what passes through the 20mm slot. Most of my similar-sized items were 18-19mm thick with the bubble envelope, some even 20mm. You have to be careful, especially if you start to use different brands and styles of bubble envelopes. Some are thicker than others, and what's 19mm in one can be 21mm in another.


I don't deal much with International Shipping, so I'll another more knowledgeable and experienced user help you there.


Community Member
Posts: 8,824
Registered: ‎03-25-2003
[ Edited ]
in reply to bentley65

and D) starting July 1st they ALSO charge us HST (13% depending on prov) on top too.  UGH.


The taxes are on the eBay fees and NOT on the payment.

So if you sell something for $10 and the eBay fees total $2.00 the taxes would be between $0.10 and $0.30 depending on your province.


 In fairness I don't use the 'services' here and print out labels blah blah, but whatever.


The 'services' are well worth it if you are shipping anything that requires Parcel rates (the only ones that can be printed out)

Even just the Small Business Solutions card (free from the PO) gives you a 5% discount on PO counter rates.

SnapShip may do better and Shippo even better-- these are still shaking out from eBay and Paypal dropping PP's shipping labels.


You don't need anything but a pleasant smile to get the SBS card.


Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
in reply to bentley65

Hi Bentley Smiley Happy

I just happened across your question and thought I would give you a quick answer.  And perhaps some advice!?  I saw that other lovely & helpful sellers have given you info re post costs etc.

But I guess from my POV (as a Cdn seller of 'stuff' (vintage toys that mostly ship in small/med boxes), whenever I've sold bubble mail and/or envelope-type things... they are just WAY more trouble than their worth.  Honestly and ugh.  Unless it's an item that is VERY valuable that is.  Can Post doesn't have a 'media/mail rate' for books etc like they used to.

Sorry to say, but selling an item for 10 bucks (or less) is just not worth the time/effort.  Plus US buyers will not bid anyhow due to high ship costs shown from here.  They can probably get the same item for much less thru lower 48 seller, often with free shipping.

To add insult to injury, what's happening is, A) the calculator is very hard to figure out (no matter HOW much experience you have!)  B) on top of the 'actual' post costs when you post out, you also have to factor in the envelope/pack materials/time etc, C) eBay also charges you 10% fee on post costs (majorly unfair assuming you don't pass on as I don't), and D) starting July 1st they ALSO charge us HST (13% depending on prov) on top too.  UGH.

So when I go to the post office they charge me HST, which eBay has already charged for, so now paying it twice!  In fairness I don't use the 'services' here and print out labels blah blah, but whatever.

Bottom line, unless you're a massive distributor of DVDs/CDs/books/comics etc moving 1000's of units a month, it's a big problem and almost impossible to be competitive in that area as they just seem to be the worst/hardest things to sell here Smiley Sad

You might want to try to go thru a local sight like Kijiji instead?  At least that is free for the most part and you may not lose anything except a bit of time?!

Either way Good Luck and best wishes,

Alison Smiley Happy



Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎06-02-2010
in reply to bentley65

Hi... and to whomever, I guess?!  (Sorry, but I don't seem to have an option here to reply to the peeps that have replied to me re Bentley's initial inquiry.)


The ONLY thing I was trying to imply & impart to Bentley as a 'new' seller was that if you are listing things like books, DVDs, etc, for 5 bucks (as he said), it can be very tricky re the way eBay 'supports' the Canada Post calculator for that kind of thing/Lettermail calculations at their end.  Because it sucks, plain and simple.  Boxes of any size/weight are much easier in that regard!


Otherwise I think it's a labour of love... once you pay all the fees incurred etc, imho.  Been there, done that.


If one wants to give stuff away and/or do it as a hobby or for fun, fair dinkum.  Heck, I don't do it for the money myself!  But just know, if sending what you've described in 'plain' envelopes (i.e. unprotected/less than 2 mm/without sturdy bubble wrapper) that buyers can file a PPal claim against you if it arrives damaged and/or if you send without tracking #.


Which is why I suggested selling low value items as described on Kijiji (also owned by eBay btw!) as an alternative.  Much easier overall imho.  EIther way, peace out!





Other Answers: 0